Following last week's similar announcement for Québec City, Ms. Line Beauchamp, Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks, and Mr. Steven Blaney, MP for Lévis-Bellechasse, today announced joint federal-provincial support for major Green Infrastructure Projects in the Greater Montreal Area (the "Projects").

The Projects represent an overall investment of $559 million and involve the construction of two facilities for organic waste treatment using anaerobic digestion, two composting centers and one pilot organic waste pretreatment facility, at a cost of close to $213 million. In addition, three more organic waste treatment facilities which would be constructed in Laval, Longueuil and Montreal's South Shore would benefit from additional joint federal-provincial financing of approximately $180 million, with the balance to be financed via municipal contributions.

The Projects will allow for the treatment of a large part of the organic waste generated in the Greater Montreal Area, including Laval and Montreal's South Shore. The biomethanization process used in the facilities will allow for the treatment of table scraps, septic sludge and organic waste from homes, factories and institutions, while the composting process will also treat table scraps, leaves and grass clippings produced in the municipalities and agglomerations. Ultimately, these Projects will limit the amount of waste sent to municipal landfill sites and allow, in the case of anaerobic digestion, for the production of bioenergy to replace fossil fuel and combustibles, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GGEs).

Of the overall investment, the Government of Canada has committed to contribute close to $150 million, or up to one third of eligible costs. The federal contribution to the Project will be provided through the new, $1-billion, five-year, nation-wide Green Infrastructure Fund, which is part of Canada's Economic Action Plan announced in the January 2009 Budget. The Green Infrastructure Fund supports sustainable energy generation and transmission, as well as wastewater treatment and solid waste management at the municipal level.

As for the Government of Québec, it is to fund approximately $165 million of the Projects. The provincial contribution is being granted under the province's Program for the Treatment of Organic Matter through Biomethanization and Composting (French-only) (the "Program") which benefits from a total investment of about $650 million, of which at least $187 million is to come from the Government of Québec. Projects funded under the Program are to create approximately 5,200 direct and indirect jobs. The Program aims to implement one of the major components of Québec's new Management of Residual Materials Policy (French-only) by progressively banning the landfilling of organic matter by 2020, while contributing to the achievement of the province's GHG emissions reduction target.

The federal government is also evaluating other biomethanization projects to be undertaken in the province of Québec under the Green Infrastructure Fund. The total federal investment in these biomethanization projects could reach more than $170 million.